PURITAN PALACES: The Oldest Homes in America
Published On: August 14, 2017 Posted by: Jeremy Peterson
We recently visited Boston, Massachusetts for a conference. While we were there, we took some time to visit some of the great historical sites of the region. One of our segues took us to Salem where we immersed ourselves in one of America’s oldest communities and visited some of the oldest homes in America.
The architecture and stories behind the homes were remarkable.
The Pickering House
Along the McIntyre Historic District were many comes constructed between 1660 and 1910. The most striking was the Pickering House which boasts a construction date of 1660. The inhabitants and their descendants played a significant role in local government and ultimately the Revolutionary War.
The Witch House
Salem is obviously famous/infamous for the Salem Witch Trials which were held in 1692-1693. Learning more about this sordid event was eye opening. The first judge to oversee the trials quit after the first accused and convicted person was hanged. The governor quickly appointed a new judge, Jonathan Corwin, to oversee the remaining trials. Under his court 19 of the accused perished by imprisonment or execution. Constructed in 1642, Judge Corwin’s home has been preserved and is now called The Witch House. The judge was one of the wealthiest people in the area at the time and his home with 2 bedrooms, a parlor, kitchen, and dining room was a mansion by 17th century colonial American standards.
Other Puritan Era Buildings
We also briefly visited the House of Seven Gables which sits on the shoreline.
The Witch Trial Memorial houses a cemetery and several Puritan Era homes.
The final words of the accused were etched in concrete nearby in a chilling reminder of the gross injustice that was done.